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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
9. Thera Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
3. The Book Called the Khandhā-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the Elements of Sensory Existence and other Subjects
22. Kindred Sayings on Elements
9. The Elders

Sutta 85

Yamaka Suttaɱ

Yamaka[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
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For details see Terms of Use.

 


[109] [93]

[1][wrrn][than][bodh][olds] Once the venerable Sāriputta was staying near Sāvatthī
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

2. At that time there had arisen
in the mind of a certain brother named Yamaka
such an evil heresy as this:

"Thus do I understand the doctrine
taught by the Exalted One:—

In so far as a brother has destroyed the āsavas,[2]
he is broken up
and perishes when the body breaks up,
he becomes not after death."[3]

Now a number of brethren heard of this evil heresy
that had arisen in the mind of the brother Yamaka,
"Thus do I understand the doctrine
taught by the Exalted One —
in so far as a brother who has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body is broken up,
he becomes not after death."

Then those brethren came to the venerable Yamaka,
greeted him
and exchanged with him the courtesy of civil words
and sat down at one side.

So seated
those brethren thus addressed the venerable Yamaka:—

"Is it true, as they say, friend Yamaka,
that such an evil heresy as this
has arisen in your mind:

'Thus do I understand the doctrine
taught by the Exalted One —
in so far as a brother who has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body is broken up,
he becomes not after death.'"?

6. "Even so, friends, do I understand it."

7. "Say not so, friend Yamaka!

Overstate not thus the Exalted One's word.

It were ill-done to overstate the Exalted One's word.

Surely he would not say:

'A [94] brother who has destroyed the āsavas"
is broken up
and perishes when the body breaks up:
he becomes not after death.'"

8. But the brother Yamaka,
though thus rebuked by those brethren,
still remained steadfast in his stubborn perversity,[4]
maintaining:

"As I understand the doctrine taught by the Exalted One: in so far as a brother has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body breaks up,
he becomes not after death."

9. So, as those brethren could not move the venerable Yamaka
from this evil heresy,
they rose up
and went to the venerable Sāriputta,
and said to him:

"Friend Sāriputta, there has arisen in the mind
of the venerable Yamaka
this evil heresy:

'In so far as a brother has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body breaks up,
he becomes not after death.'

It were well if the venerable Sāriputta
went to the venerable Yamaka,
out of compassion for him."

So the venerable Sāriputta consented
by his silence.

Then at eventide
the venerable Sāriputta rose up from his solitude
and went to the brother Yamaka,
and greeting him with courtesy
sat down at one side.

So seated
the venerable Sāriputta said
to the venerable Yamaka:

"Is it true, friend Yamaka,
as they say,
that you hold this evil heresy:
that such an evil heresy as this
has arisen in your mind:

'Thus do I understand the doctrine
taught by the Exalted One —
in so far as a brother who has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body is broken up,
he becomes not after death.'"?

"It is true, friend,
that thus do I understand the doctrine taught by the Exalted One:

'That in so far as a brother has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when the body breaks up,
he becomes not after death.'"

"Now, as to this, friend Yamaka,
what think you?

Is body permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, friend."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, friend."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, friend."

"Is feeling permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, friend."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, friend."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, friend."

"Is perception permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, friend."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, friend."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, friend."

"Are the activities permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, friend."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, friend."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, friend."

"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, friend."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, friend."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, friend."

 

§

 

"Therefore, friend Yamaka, every body whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every body should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every feeling whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every feeling should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every perception whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every perception should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every activity whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every activity should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every consciousness whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every consciousness should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

"Wherefore, friend Yamaka, he who thus sees
conceives disgust at body,
at feeling,
at perception,
at the activities,
at consciousness.

Being disgusted
he is repelled by them;
by that repulsion he is released;
by that release he is set free;
knowledge arises:
in the freed man is the freed thing,
and he knows:

'Destroyed is rebirth;
lived is the righteous life;
done is the task;
for life in these conditions
there is no hereafter.'

 

§

 

[95] Now herein, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata[5] as body?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as feeling?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as perception?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as the activities?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as consciousness?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now what think you as to this, friend?

Is a Tathāgata in the body?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as distinct from body?"

"Surely not, friend."

Is a Tathāgata in the feelings?"

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as distinct from feeling?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as in perception?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as distinct from perception?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as in the activities?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as distinct from the activities?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as in consciousness?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata
as distinct from consciousness?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend,
do you regard a Tathāgata as body?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata as feeling?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata as perception?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata as the activities?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Do you regard a Tathāgata as the consciousness?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata
as one who has not a body?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata
as one who has not feeling?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata
as one who has not perception?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata
as one who has not activities?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
do you regard a Tathāgata
as one who has not consciousness?"

"Surely not, friend."

"Then, friend Yamaka,
since in this very life[6]
a Tathāgata is not to be regarded as existing in truth,
in reality,[7]
is it [96] proper for you to assert:

'As I understand the doctrine taught by the Exalted One,
in so far as a brother has destroyed the āsavas,
he is broken up
and perishes when body is broken up,
he becomes not after death'?"

"It was in my folly, friend Sāriputta,
that I came to hold this evil heresy,
but now that I have heard the explanation of the venerable Sāriputta,
this evil heresy is put away,
and I am established in the Norm."[8]

"Now, friend Yamaka,
if they were to ask you:

'As to that brother, friend,
who has destroyed the āsavas;
when the body is broken up,
does he become after death?'

Thus questioned, friend,
what would you assert?"

"If, friend, they were thus to question me,
thus should I assert:

'Body, friends, is impermanent.

What is impermanent, that is woe.

What is woe, has ceased,
been destroyed.

Feeling, friends, is impermanent.

What is impermanent, that is woe.

What is woe, has ceased,
been destroyed.

Perception, friends, is impermanent.

What is impermanent, that is woe.

What is woe, has ceased,
been destroyed.

The activities, friends, is impermanent.

What is impermanent, that is woe.

What is woe, has ceased,
been destroyed.

Consciousness is impermanent.

What is impermanent, that is woe.

What is woe has ceased,
been destroyed.'

That is what I should assert, friend,
if I were questioned."

"Well said!

Well said, friend Yamaka!

Now I will show you a parable
to show my meaning.

Suppose, friend Yamaka,
a housefather, or his son,
a rich man,
exceeding rich and prosperous,
with a strong body-guard.

Then suppose some fellow
desirous of his loss and harm,
desirous of troubling his serenity,
longing to slay him,
should say to himself:

'Here is this housefather
[or housefather's son],
a rich man,
exceeding rich and prosperous;
but, as he has a strong body-guard,
it would not be easy to slay him by force.

What if I were to work my way in
and so slay him?'

Thereupon he approaches that housefather,
or housefather's son,
and says:

'I would enter your service, master.'

So that housefather,
or housefather's son,
admits him to his service.

And the other,
by rising up early
and so late taking rest,
becomes a willing servant[9] to him,
eager to please
and well-spoken.

Then that housefather,
or [97] housefather's son,
comes to trust him[10] as a friend and confidant,
and thus makes a companion of him.[11]

Now when this fellow is assured:

'This housefather,
or housefather's son as it may be,
is my boon companion,'
then, catching him in a lonely place,
he slays him with a sharp sword.

Now as to this, friend Yamaka,
what think you?

When that fellow went to such and such a housefather,
or housefather's son,
and said to him:
'I would enter your service, master,' —
was he not even then a murderer?

But, though he was a murderer,
was not his master unaware of this fact,
'I have a murderer'.[12]

So also, when he entered his service,
rose up early and late took rest,
was a willing servant to him,
eager to please and speaking affectionately,
was he not even then a murderer,
though his master knew it not?"

"He was, friend."

"Even so, friend,
the untaught Ariyan disciple,
who discerns not those who are Ariyans;
who is unskilled in the Ariyan Norm,
untrained in the Ariyan Norm;
who discerns not the worthy ones,
who is unskilled in the worthy Norm,
untrained in the worthy Norm, —
such an one regards body as the Self,
or the Self as having a body,
or body as being in the Self,
or the Self as being in the body.

Regards feeling as the Self,
or the Self as having feeling,
or feeling as being in the Self,
or the Self as being in feeling.

Regards perception as the Self,
or the Self as having perception,
or perception as being in the Self,
or the Self as being in perception.

Regards the activities as the Self,
or the Self as having the activities,
or the activities as being in the Self,
or the Self as being in the activities.

Regards consciousness as the Self,
or the Self as having consciousness,
or consciousness as being in the Self,
or the Self as being in consciousness.

Of the impermanent body
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent feeling
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent perception
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent activities
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the woeful body
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful feeling
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful perception
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful activities
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the selfless body
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless feeling
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless perception
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless activities
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

[98] Of the compounded body
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded feeling
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded perception
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded activities
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the murderous body
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous feeling
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous perception
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous activities
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

He approaches a body,
lays hold of it,
and is assured:

'It is the Self of me.'

He approaches feeling,
lays hold of it,
and is assured:

'It is the Self of me.'

He approaches perception,
lays hold of it,
and is assured:

'It is the Self of me.'

He approaches the activities,
lays hold of it,
and is assured:

'It is the Self of me.'

He approaches the consciousness,
lays hold of it,
and is assured:

'It is the Self of me.'

Thus the five grasping groups are approached
and laid hold of by him,
and they turn to his loss and suffering
for many a long day.

 

§

 

Even so, friend,
the well-taught Ariyan disciple,
who discerns those who are Ariyans;
who is skilled in the Ariyan Norm,
trained in the Ariyan Norm;
who discerns the worthy ones,
who is skilled in the worthy Norm,
trained in the worthy Norm, —
such an one regards not the body as the Self,
nor the Self as having body,
nor body as being in the Self,
nor the Self as being in the body.

He regards not feeling as the Self,
nor the Self as having body,
nor body as being in the Self,
nor the Self as being in feeling.

He regards not perception as the Self,
nor the Self as having body,
nor body as being in the Self,
nor the Self as being in perception.

He regards not the activities as the Self,
nor the Self as having body,
nor body as being in the Self,
nor the Self as being in the activities.

He regards not the activities as the Self,
nor the Self as having body,
nor body as being in the Self,
nor the Self as being in consciousness.

Of the impermanent body
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent feeling
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent perception
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent activities
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the impermanent consciousness
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is impermanent.

Of the woeful body
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful feeling
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful perception
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful activities
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the woeful consciousness
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is woeful.

Of the selfless body
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless feeling
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless perception
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless activities
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the selfless consciousness
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is selfless.

Of the compounded body
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded feeling
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded perception
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded activities
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the compounded consciousness
he understands not,
as it really is,
that it is compounded.

Of the murderous body
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous feeling
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous perception
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous activities
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

Of the murderous consciousness
he understands,
as it really is,
that it is murderous.

He approaches not a body,
lays not hold of it,
and is not assured:

'I have the Self.'

He approaches not feeling,
lays not hold of it,
and is not assured:

'I have the Self.'

He approaches not perception,
lays not hold of it,
and is not assured:

'I have the Self.'

He approaches not the activities,
lays not hold of it,
and is not assured:

'I have the Self.'

He approaches not consciousness,
lays not hold of it,
and is not assured:

'I have the Self.'

Thus the five groups based on grasping
are not approached,
not laid hold of by him,
and so they turn to his bliss and pleasure
for many a long day."

"Even so, happy, friend Sāriputta,
are those venerable ones
who have such co-mates as thee
in the righteous life,
so compassionate,
so anxious for their welfare,
such teachers,
such expounders!

And now that I have heard this Norm-teaching [99] from the venerable Sāriputta,
my heart is released from the āsavas
without any grasping."

So spake the venerable Sāriputta,
and the venerable Yamaka rejoiced thereat
and welcomed the words of the venerable Sāriputta.

 


[1] Trans. Warren. op. cit., 138-45. Cf. Dela Vallee Poussin, Bouddhisme, p. 172.

[2] Khīṇâsava — i.e., quâ Arahant, he is broken up, etc.

[3] Comy. says, 'if his view were this: "the aggregates rise and cease; there is a ceasing of the round of existence" — it would be no heresy, but expert knowledge of the teaching. But in so far as he thought: "a being is broken up and perishes," herein arises a heretical view.'

[4] Thāmasā parāmāsasā. Comy.k, 'diṭṭhi-thāmena c'eva diṭṭhi parāmāsena ca.' Cf. sup. 46.

[5] Tathâgato ti. Comy. here says it means 'Satto' (a being), 'massing together the five groups'; an entity. The word is translated by Warren as 'the saint'; by De la Vallée Poussin (loc. cit.), 'the Buddha, the real living Buddha' (following Oldenberg). It is possible to translate here as 'an entity' (satto), but the context perhaps demands the meaning uttama-puriso, arahant, superman, 'he who has done with rebirth and death.' Cf. R. Chalmers, 'Tathāgata,' J.R.A.S., 1898, p. l03 f. It is worthy of notice that Satto is defined as 'that which clings, is diffused, hangs, cumbers' (see Nidd. i, 24. At Papañca 113 (Bodhisatta), 'Tathāgato bodhiyaŋ; satto, laggo.' And infra 190 (text) the word is defined).

[6] Diṭṭh'eva dhamme.

[7] It is interesting to find the Kathāvatthu (i, 1) here verbally anticipated.

[8] Supra, § 83, where Comy. says the phrase implies stream-winning or conversion.

[9] Kiŋkāra, which Comy. explains as 'one who is always asking," What shall I do, master?"'

[10] Comy. reads saddaheyya.

[11] Comy., 'takes his meals with him.'

[12]Cf. § 79, rūpena khajjami, and below, rūpaŋ vadhakaŋ, etc. For this and other terms for body, see Vis. Magg. 479.


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